Waitangi Tribunal Strategic Direction launched

The Waitangi Tribunal Chairperson, Chief Judge Wilson Isaac, today (2 July 2014) launched the Waitangi Tribunal’s Strategic Direction 2014 to 2025.

Tākiri te haeata, ka ao, ka awatea, horahia mai ko te ao mārama
Dawn breaks, comes the daylight and the world is aglow with brilliant light


Read the Strategic Direction 2014 to 2025 [PDF, 16 MB]

The Strategic Direction comes at a significant time in the history of the Tribunal. The Tribunal is currently approaching the completion of its long-running district inquiry programme, in which many historical and contemporary claims have been and are being heard. When the final inquiries conclude, the Tribunal will have reported on claims arising in more than 90 per cent of New Zealand’s land area.

However, there is still much to be done. The Waitangi Tribunal’s overarching aim is to provide inquiry pathways tailored to the aspirations of all remaining claimants who wish the Tribunal to consider their claims. This means comprehensively tackling all claims before the Tribunal, as well as those yet to be filed. To that end, the Waitangi Tribunal has adopted a long-term strategic framework that sets out the main components of its future inquiry programme.

Achieving the strategic goals outlined in this document will enable the Tribunal to transition by the mid-2020s to a focus primarily on contemporary claims as they are filed, including new kaupapa claims raising nationally significant issues as well as claims seeking urgency. During this transition and beyond, the Tribunal will remain committed to its core objective: to advance a Treaty-based Crown–Māori relationship and thereby sustain the political, social, and cultural fabric of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Tribunal’s five strategic goals fall into two periods.

By 2020, the Tribunal will:

  • complete the final six district inquiries and remaining historical claims; and
  • progress high priority kaupapa claims, especially those with historical issues.

By 2025, the Tribunal will:

  • substantially advance or complete the remaining kaupapa claims;
  • address the backlog of contemporary claims; and

Over both periods, the Tribunal will:

  • give priority to hearing urgent claims arising from Treaty settlement processes and other Crown policies and actions.

From 2025, the Tribunal will

  • hear new kaupapa and other contemporary claims as they are filed.

The achievement of these goals will likely involve new modes of Tribunal inquiry and significant change in the operating model, structures, and resources of the Tribunal and its administration.

In order to support the Tribunal to fulfil its strategic vision and meet its goals for 2020 and 2025, the Waitangi Tribunal and the Waitangi Tribunal Unit will work together to develop an implementation plan that outlines the initiatives and specific deliverables required to give effect to the strategic goals and priorities identified.

For media inquiries, contact the Ministry of Justice media centre(external link)

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